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Trees Are WORKING!

September 23, 2020 | Kristen Jordan

We are continuing to learn so many new things at school!  Our days are filled with learning the routines and rhythms of our days, as well as working on a variety of activities.

One of the routines children are getting really good at is washing their hands (so important right now!)

We wash our hands many times during the day to keep the germs at bay!

The children are quickly becoming experts and we have a rhyme that you might ask your child to share with you.  It helps to make sure we are washing thoroughly and  keeps us washing our hands for long enough: 

Tops and bottoms

Tops and Bottoms

In Between

In Between

Scrub them, all together

Scrub them, all together

Now they’re clean

Squeaky clean!

We have experienced visiting the gym, where children have thoroughly enjoyed playing with beach balls and some smaller squishy balls. It is amazing what fun a ball can bring!  Children have run with, kicked, thrown, rolled, and laughed lots with the balls. 

Children have played alone, with partners, and with anyone in the vicinity.  Many are finding friends they enjoy during our gym time.

At the end of our gym time, we have also done some stretching and yoga-like moves to bring our tired bodies back to a calm place. 

Another new place for the Trees Class in these beginning days has been playing in the field in they park.  We will go here some days when we don’t have a gym day.  In the field there was lots of enjoyment in searching for ants and finding a “Giant Spider Web” in which to hide.

The Trees class children also became bunnies, kitties and puppies during outside play time as they bonded with each other through imaginary animal play!  A number of children reported during our reflection time that being in the field at the park was their favorite part of the day. 

Back in the classroom, in addition to routines, children are engaged in many, many activities for the morning.  One area where children have worked hard has been in drawing.  The children are practicing using a good, strong grip while drawing with a marker.

Children have been thinking carefully about how to use their pincer fingers to pick up the marker so that their grip is set in place from the beginning of their work.  

Children tried drawing different types of lines (straight, long, short, curvy, zig-zag) and tried to keep thinking about their good grip as they did so. Challenging work! 

One other very popular area in the classroom these days is trains.  The Trees Class children love going there and building tracks and creating different arrangements of trees and signs for the trains to pass as they travel.

At trains, as well as other areas, children are finding friends with whom they enjoy working. They are figuring out ways of working together, which sometimes means compromise or changing your ideas.  We are finding that this is a group of children who are, overall, so kind and good natured, and they really work well together.  It has been a lovely beginning!

Kristen Jordan

Teacher, Trees Class

Kristen Jordan began helping at Mustard Seed School in 2006, after her daughter had been a student in the preschool. She substituted for many years in all grades; in 2011, she returned to the classroom and has been a teacher in The Nest ever since.

Prior to the birth of her daughter Clara, in 2002, Ms. Jordan worked in Brooklyn as a first grade teacher with the New York City Public Schools. During this time, her school collaborated with the Brooklyn Museum, and this work helped Ms. Jordan develop a real interest in the parallels between the process of making art and the process of writing in the classroom. She thoroughly enjoys teaching both art and literacy to preschoolers.

Ms Jordan’s background includes work with the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. While at Teachers College, she trained with esteemed educator and author Lucy Calkins. Early in her teaching career, Ms. Jordan did not think that she wanted to teach very young children but her view has changed! She now really enjoys and takes great interest in young children and their development.

Ms. Jordan enjoys reading, working out, hiking, cooking, and spending time with her daughter and family. Although she has lived on the East Coast for a very long time, as a native of Oregon, she really loves the mountains!

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